The Margaritifera recovery and protection project started in 2018, but only today International Biodiversity Day, Quercus has made public this work that directly intervenes on a critically endangered species at national and European level.
The project covers the “assessment of the biological and morphological quality of salmonic acid rivers, the assessment of the extent, detailed distribution, and current conservation status of populations in Portugal.
During the project, an analysis is also made of the vulnerability of rivers with salmonid aptitude to climate change and other factors of population regression, measures for the requalification of habitats to promote this bivalve; the reproduction of river mussel and trout in Portugal and the development of new methodologies for breeding in captivity and monitoring of restocking.
Quercus recalls that in recent decades, freshwater bivalves have suffered rates of extinction or sharp decline, with freshwater mussels and in particular the species Margaritifera margaritifera being one of the most endangered in the whole of Europe.
The investment of the project is divided between the technical-scientific component, the requalification of infrastructures (Posto Aquícola de Castrelos – Bragança) and the communication and dissemination of the same.
The technical-scientific component is ensured by the Consortium MCG Margaritifera, composed of the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Faculty of Sciences – University of Lisbon, ICETA / CIBIO-InBio – University of Porto, University of Minho, Freshwater Lda, BIOTA Lda and University of Aveiro.